The Best Non-Stick Pans To Buy 2021
What’s more essential in a kitchen other than a fine-quality non-stick pan? From making an omelet early in the morning to helping yourself with an appetizing dish at dinner, a pan does it all. However, many pans are available in the market, and not all of them serve the same functions. And considering the underhandedness in the marketplace, finding the best one can be a tough grind.
Hence, in order to help you with getting a pan worth your money, we took up the task to find the finest non-stick pans out there. We went through heaps of user reviews, scrapped up all the details we could get, and came to settle on 12 final contenders. We assessed various properties of these pans including durability, non-stickiness, ergonomics, heat distribution, temperature tolerance, ease-of-cleaning, and general aesthetics. After putting in so many hours, we finally decided on three winners.
2021 – The best nonstick pans
- 2021 Best Overall Pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan with Lid
- 2021 Best Eco-Friendly Pan: GreenPan Levels Stackable Ceramic Fry Pan
- 2021 Best Restaurant-Quality Pan: HexClad 10-Inch Hybrid Pan
The T-fal E76597 is the go-to option for those looking for an all-in-one non-stick pan. With its 2½ inch sides and a decent depth, the pan serves as a multi-purpose staple in your kitchen. Its depth allows it to serve as a single pan with vast functionality. You may use it for basic tasks like frying eggs. Its tall sides also allow you to prepare foods like rice, which would otherwise require a pot. The T-fal E76597 is quite economical and its high-quality build makes it a good competitor even for more expensive pans in the arena.
GreenPan’s Ceramic Fry Pan is a veteran of eco-friendly non-stick pans. It is composed of materials that are sustainable for both the environment and the consumer. The non-stick coating in many pans contains materials that may cause health issues, but GreenPan’s Ceramic Fry Pan is free of such risks. The coating is made up of Ceramic, which comes from sand, and upon heating, does not release any toxic materials.
The HexClad 10-Inch Hybrid Pan is the “premium” option on our list. It prevails over its competitors in all properties; it has the best non-stickiness, it’s the easiest to clean, and disperses heat evenly across its surface. Although the HexClad Hybrid Pan lands heavy on your pocket, which is to say it’s relatively pricey, it offers exceptional value for your money. It’s a well-built heavy-duty tool and the perfect upgrade for your cookware.
Best Overall Pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan with Lid ($39.99, initially $55.95; Amazon.com)
To start, this non-stick pan is the most cost-efficient one with the crucial features all the same. With the supplemental lid included, the pan costs no more than $45.
The extended sides of this pan allow it to contain way more food than an average one. And its depth provides it with better functionality.
The T-fal Pan derives its non-stick property from its anodized aluminium surface. Anodized Aluminium is a principal material for making non-stick surfaces, hence the T-fal Pan outperforms in this regard, allowing nothing to cling to its surface. Besides providing the non-stick property, Anodized Aluminium makes the pan surface tougher and more durable. It does not peel off or corrode. Instead, it provides a smooth finish to the pan’s surface and adds a touch of beauty to it.
The Pan also has great temperature durability. It can easily withstand 400 degrees in the oven (while the lid is safe up to 350 degrees) and offers a lifetime-limited warranty. Even at such high temperatures in the oven, none of the food stuck to the pan, and everything got off smoothly. The pan is also convenient for preheating. It has a “Thermo-spot® Indicator” in the middle of its surface, which ensures that the pan is properly preheated before you start cooking. Once the pan is ready, the indicator turns solid red, signaling you a safe start for cooking.
The T-fal Anodized Non-Stick Pan is easy-going in terms of cleaning up. Owing to its non-stick properties, cleaning it up is simple and requires just soap, a sponge, and some water.
The manufacturers claim the pan to be “2x more scratch-resistant”. This claim, though slightly exaggerated, stands out to be significantly true. The pan withstands many tests and shows no marks, even after being scrapped with sharp utensils. The scratch-resistant materials used in the pan are non-toxic, so even if the pan is overheated or somehow slightly scratched, your food wouldn’t turn harmful.
The overall build quality of the T-fal Pan is very practical. Its elevated sides make it an all-in-one cookware instrument. The Thermal Indicator is efficient for preheating. The handle is made up of Silicon, which is comfortable to grip and stays moderate when the pan is heated. Plus, the handle also has a hole that allows you to hang the pan vertically when not in use.
For the price tag attached, this product definitely pays off and is highly recommended for anyone looking for an all-round non-stick pan on budget. It’s highly efficient for day-to-day use, and regarding functionality, it competes with its premium counterparts that are sold for double the price.
Best Eco-Friendly Pan: GreenPan Levels Stackable Ceramic Frypan ($79.99, initially $139.99 for a set of two; macys.com)
For the health-conscious lads out there, the GreenPan is undoubtedly the ideal choice. It’s better for your health and also environment-friendly and still offers the essential non-stick properties.
Unlike most non-stick pans, GreenPan’s Ceramic Frypan is free of the harmful materials that may cause health issues. As the name suggests, this pan has an upper surface made up of Ceramic, a golden term in the cookware industry. Ceramic pans are better than those made from Copper or Teflon. This is because Ceramic does not allow any chemicals to leach into food, even at very high temperatures. On account of its Ceramic coating, GreenPan stands apart from the other non-stick pans, which are made of stainless steel or copper.
Despite the ceramic coating and the anodized aluminium body, the GreenPan feels highly comfortable in the hand. The pan has a weight of only 2 pounds, which makes it the lightest pan in the top three list. Transferring food from the pan, or moving the pan off the stove is virtually effortless with the GreenPan. The design of the pan is quite simple, yet very charming. It has a classical build with no pattern on the surface and boasts a streamlined look.
Although simple on the outside, the GreenPan has a sturdy build quality. It has an Anodized Aluminium body which, like the T-fal, makes it corrosion resistant, tougher, and more durable. The pan can withstand temperatures as high as 400 degrees, and the silicon handle keeps it moderate enough for you to touch. The pan is also very tough in resisting scratches, and striking metal utensils on its surface reveals no marks. The GreenPan has a Thermolon™ ceramic non-stick surface, which contains no toxic materials, and instead is derived from sand. This coating does not release any toxic fumes when exposed to high temperatures. Moreover, according to the manufacturers, its production releases at least 60% less CO2 as compared to conventional coatings, which justifies the word “green” in its name. *
The Thermolon™ Coating also delivers non-stick properties, which make the cleanup of the pan effortless. After cooking or frying, the food comes off easily with no residue left behind. For a speedy cleanup, soapy water and a cloth make the perfect pair and by just wiping and rinsing, the pan is ready for use again.
If you require a non-stick pan that is economical while at the same time very efficient, or if you want to be extra sure about the sustainability of the pan for your health, GreenPan’s Ceramic FryPan should be your choice.
Best Restaurant-Quality Pan: HexClad 10-Inch Hybrid Frying Pan ($137; hexclad.com)
The HexClad Hybrid Frying Pan is the “Premium” option on our list. For the price-tag attached, you’re definitely getting a pro-level upgrade for your cookware; a non-stick pan that is highly durable, scratch-resistant, and able to tolerate the highest oven temperatures without even showing a single mark.
If there is one thing this pan has over all the other, that’s temperature-durability. The pan withstands temperatures going as high as 500 degrees. You can put it in the oven for hours and it’ll come out just as it went in. The pan has a combination of stainless steel and nonstick, which gives it the name “Hybrid”. The pan features a hexagon design with an aesthetic appearance. The durability of the piece is guaranteed as it comes with a lifetime warranty.
To return the favor for your money, the HexClad Hybrid Pan offers you exceptional build quality. With a black hexagon top layer, the pan has a design constructed from a series of peaks and valleys. According to HexClad’s website, the stainless-steel peaks protect the surface from peeling off or flaking, while the valleys provide non-stick properties for easy cleanup.
The overall design of the pan looks cool, and the texture formed on the surface by the peaks and valleys makes the pan look unique and highly professional. The stainless steel of the pan performs well in preventing scratches and has endured extensive scraping in many tests.
The HexClad Hybrid Frying Pan distributes heat evenly across its surface. The pan has a middle layer containing aluminium that delivers perfect heat to all sides of the pan, creating a uniform temperature for cooking.
HexClad manufacturers recommend seasoning the product before use (only once). This produces exceptional results and enhances the non-stick property of the pan. Thanks to the exquisite design and prior seasoning, the cooked food came off swiftly, no remnants were left behind, and cleanup was a cinch. Again, no scrubbing was required, as rinsing and wiping did the job perfectly.
Many pans in the market, even some premium ones, burn from the bottom when overheated. But guess what, HexClad doesn’t. Its exclusive design prevents the bottom from changing colors when overheated. This also makes the cleanup easier, as anything stuck to the bottom, overflowed food, or even plastic, comes off with just a gentle scrub.
In a nutshell, though the HexClad Hybrid Frying Pan may look overpriced, it definitely pays off. It’s a premium package that’ll surely suit any need, and serve a long time in the kitchen, making every day cooking a lot easier.
Basic Tips for Non-Stick Pans
- Medium heat is ideal for most non-stick pans, even the premium ones. In addition to being harmful to you, too much heat may burn your food and also reduce the non-stick properties of the pan faster. Its always better to provide light to medium heat to a non-stick pan.
- Handwashing is preferable for cleaning up the pan. Though many pans are claimed to be dishwasher-friendly, they are usually more durable if hand washed. Before hand washing a pan, make sure that it has cooled down. Always use a smooth sponge, as rough ones may deteriorate the pan surface by leaving scrub marks.
- Seasoning is highly beneficial for non-stick pans. It’s a one-time process and very simple. Wash the pan and then dry it. Pour a little oil and rub it across the surface. Now heat up the pan for a few minutes. Finally, wash it again and the pan is good to go!
- The Utensils you use are crucial for a pan. Some pans can withstand metal being scrubbed across it, but most pans are damaged by even a gentle rub. Hence, you should stick to wooden utensils for your pan, unless the pan is truly scratch-resistant.
The pans which did not make it to the top three were ruled out because of various reasons. Here we list the runner-up pans of the list, which were close to reaching the top three.
All-Clad 4110 NS R2 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Nonstick Fry Pan ($139; amazon.com)
The pan’s temperature durability was below the mark. It had markings on the bottom after only the first use. Moreover, at a slightly higher temperature, the pan got extremely hot.
All-Clad B1 Hard-Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan ($59.99 for a set of two; bedbathandbeyond.com)
This product is less expensive than many others, and surprisingly it’s more temperature-tolerant. However, this economic aspect of the product is overshadowed by its handle, which is highly uncomfortable and causes problems when transferring food.
Anolon Advanced Home Frying Pan ($59.99; bedbathandbeyond.com or $59.99; amazon.com)
The non-stick property of this pan is phenomenal. The silicon covering of its handle is brassbound to protect the user from heat, but the handle is relatively short, and there’s a high chance of the user to get exposed to the dangerous heat.
Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, 10-inch and 12-inch set ($66; amazon.com)
Regarding non-stickiness, this pan passed the tests, but it missed out on the top spots because of the nodes that attach the pan and the handle. These nodes pop out in the interior of the pan and often catch food. Because of this, the cleanup process becomes a little annoying.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Nonstick Stainless Steel Skillet ($39.99 for an 8-inch; bedbathandbeyond.com)
This pan scores well in terms of non-stickiness. But for those who care about the pan’s aesthetics, this might not be the ideal choice. The pan catches burn marks easily. This does not affect its functionality but spoils the look of it.
Oxo Good Grips Frying Pan, 12-inch ($39.99; amazon.com)
For the price tag attached, this pan performs very well and might be a good option. But the pan is not very scratch resistant. A light scrub with a metal utensil leaves a fairly visible mark. But if you abstain from using metal utensils, the pan might be quite durable.
Tramontina Professional Aluminum Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan ($44; amazon.com)
This is one pan that barely missed the top ranks. It has exceptional scratch resistance and a comfy grip. The only downside which lessens its value is the nodes that connect the handle and the pan. Food sticks easily in these spots, and the cleaning process is thus difficult. Because of this, the pan may not be suitable for many users.
T-fal Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan ($30.97; amazon.com)
This model is very similar to its victor counterpart and packs many of the same features. Both have the Thermo-Spot Indicator. However, the tall sides and the additional lid present in that model ultimately make it a better option. For those looking for a shallower pan, this one is the ideal choice.
Zwilling Madura Plus 10-inch Nonstick Pan ($49; zwilling.com)
This pan has an exquisite design and looks very aesthetic. It has a smooth surface and distributes heat fairly. However, the pan does not do well against scratches and a slight scrub with any metal utensil leaves a mark on it. Besides, the pan’s handle is not very comfortable.